Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Launches Sustainability Program

Firm's 'Green' Initiative Embraces Environmental Responsibility; Makes Business Sense

March 21, 2008

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP announced today the launch of the firm's Sustainability Program.  Led by partners Randolph C. Visser and Rafael F. Muilenburg, the firm-sanctioned initiative focuses on increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste and saving the firm money. 

Driven by Sheppard Mullin’s commitment to become a leader in sustainable business practices within the legal community, this priority initiative will provide educational opportunities for lawyers and staff to learn how to become more "green."  The program's main goals will be to decrease the consumption of energy, resources and material; and to advance Sheppard Mullin as a leader in environmental responsibility, while improving the firm's bottom line in the process.

As active members of the firm's Global Climate Change practice and experts in this rapidly evolving area of law, Visser and Muilenburg are experienced practitioners in environmental compliance, sustainability matters and related litigation.  Visser and Muilenburg will be joined by more than a dozen attorneys and staff on the initiative's committee, encompassing several Sheppard Mullin offices, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Del Mar Heights. 

"More corporations and organizations are paying attention to 'green' initiatives and expect that their law firms do also.  The firm's Sustainability Program supports the commitment to practices that our clients are adopting and implementing," stated Visser.  "Our initiative has also been well-received internally, as it strengthens and celebrates the firm's community and social responsibility.  Our attorneys and staff are proud to be part of a firm that is concerned with sustainability issues."

“This new initiative reflects our commitment to take firmwide sustainability policies to the next level,” commented Muilenburg.  “In addition to improving our own performance, we can assist our clients to achieve their business goals while attaining the best environmental result.  We will be working with our attorneys and staff to identify 'green' efforts already underway within the firm, and to help develop plans to drive these efforts forward firmwide.” 

The program's launch will include a number of exciting projects, including implementing efficiency improvements based on internal survey results, enrolling in the Law Firm Eco-Challenge sponsored by the American Bar Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, launching an internal Sustainability Program website containing information about the initiative's efforts and the realized tangible and intangible benefits, and launching a new blog, created in cooperation with the Global Climate Change practice group, that will explore the growing interface between California legal requirements and sustainability efforts. 

Visser and Muilenburg have mapped out a number of focus areas to formalize important steps towards sustainable business practices and to further reduce the firm’s carbon footprint and implement internal "green" initiatives.  The firm is encouraging all of its personnel to become involved in identifying innovative ways to improve the sustainability of its own activities.  While serving as committee advisors, Visser and Muilenburg will continue their respective legal practices in real estate, land use and environmental law. 

Visser is a partner in the Construction, Environmental, Real Estate and Land Use Litigation practice group in the firm's Los Angeles office.  He founded and co-chairs the firm's Global Climate Change Team.  Visser specializes in environmental compliance, government contracts counseling and environmental enforcement defense and administrative and judicial litigation.  He has significant experience and expertise in CEQA, NEPA, Proposition 65, and federal, state and local environmental, water and air quality laws, including particularly the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Regional Clean Air Incentives Market Program and other market incentive environmental programs. 

Muilenburg is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group in the firm's Del Mar Heights office.  His primary practice involves advising and representing residential, industrial and commercial developers through all phases of the land use regulatory process.  An active member of the firm's Global Climate Change industry team, Muilenburg is very familiar with state and local laws and initiatives relating to climate change, control of greenhouse gas and related sustainability matters.  Part of his practice involves promoting approval of projects with "green development" characteristics through local governments and other agencies.

About Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more than 520 attorneys in 10 offices located throughout California and in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanghai.  The firm's California offices are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Century City, Orange County, Del Mar Heights and San Diego.  Founded in 1927 on the principle that the firm would succeed only if its attorneys delivered prompt, high quality and cost-effective legal services, Sheppard Mullin provides legal counsel to U.S. and international clients.  Companies turn to Sheppard Mullin to handle a full range of corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions.  In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100 companies.